PER­FECT BIRTH­DAY SCORE

Happy re­turns for Curry as War­riors end los­ing streak

New Straits Times - - Sport -

STEPHEN Curry scored 29 points on his 29th birth­day as the Golden State War­riors staged a fourth quar­ter rally to de­feat the Philadel­phia 76ers and halt their three-game los­ing streak on Tues­day.

The War­riors looked to be head­ing for a shock de­feat at the Or­a­cle Arena af­ter the hap­less Six­ers led by 12 points at the end of the third quar­ter.

But a de­fi­ant de­fen­sive per­for­mance from War­riors stal­wart Dray­mond Green and some mer­ci­less shoot­ing from Curry saw the Dubs home in a nail-biting 106-104 vic­tory that saw them im­prove to 53-14.

As well as his 29-point haul, Curry had six re­bounds and four as­sists.

Green mean­while scored 20 points and snared eight re­bounds and eight as­sists in a cru­cial per­for­mance that also in­cluded six blocks.

The Six­ers, who fell to 24-43 with the de­feat, saw Dario Saric top score with 25 points while Jahlil Okafor added 22 points.

Curry was re­lieved to have drawn a line un­der the War­riors re­cent run of poor form.

“It’s been a rough week ob­vi­ously. Ev­ery NBA team go through it at some point, we just gotta keep fight­ing,” Curry said.

“Dray­mond said some­thing in a time­out in the first quar­ter that we needed to get our flow back. And it might not be pretty but that was ac­cu­rate to say the least how the game went tonight.”

Curry also praised Green’s fourth quar­ter per­for­mance which helped the War­riors get over the line. “Fourth quar­ter what Dray­mond did was amaz­ing,” Curry said.

Else­where on Tues­day, there were easy wins for the Cleve­land Cava­liers and the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der, with both LeBron James and Rus­sell West­brook notch­ing triple dou­bles for their re­spec­tive teams.

James, 32, con­structed his 10th triple­dou­ble of the sea­son in the Cavs 128-96 blowout over the Detroit Pis­tons.

The Cava­liers star — who has now notched four triple-dou­bles in March alone — fin­ished with 16 points, 11 re­bounds and 12 as­sists.

It was the lat­est ev­i­dence that James is switch­ing into play­off mode as he has done con­sis­tently when the busi­ness end of the sea­son comes into view.

Cavs coach Ty­ronn Lue how­ever in­sisted James’ form had been solid for months.

“He hasn’t done any­thing dif­fer­ent,” Lue said. “He’s al­most av­er­ag­ing a triple­dou­ble. I think he’s av­er­ag­ing 26 (points), nine (as­sists), and eight (re­bounds). That’s al­most a triple-dou­ble ev­ery sin­gle night,” Lue said.

West­brook mean­while was given a stand­ing ova­tion by an ap­pre­cia­tive New York crowd at the Bar­clays Cen­tre as the Thun­der romped past the Brook­lyn Nets 122-104.

The crowd saluted West­brook af­ter he com­pleted his 33rd triple-dou­ble of the sea­son, leav­ing him eight shy of Os­car Robert­son’s all-time record of 41.

West­brook, who fin­ished with 25 points, 19 as­sists and 12 re­bounds, later ad­mit­ted he had been taken aback by the warmth of his re­cep­tion.

“They were loud. I thought some­thing hap­pened,” West­brook said. “I was won­der­ing why they were scream­ing so loud. I thought they were giv­ing some­thing out in the crowd or some­thing.”

RE­SULTS: Golden State 106 Philadel­phia 104, New Or­leans 100 Port­land 77, Ok­la­homa City 122 Brook­lyn 104, NY Knicks 87 In­di­ana 81, Cleve­land 128 Detroit 96. AFP

AP PIC

War­riors’ Stephen Curry aims to shoot as Six­ers’ play­ers de­fend in their NBA game on Tues­day.

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